Google has linked its online applications suite with its Groups service, making it possible to share documents, sites, and calendars among defined groups of people.
Before the new functionality was launched Monday,wanting to share items had either to make them entirely public, or share them on a person-by-person basis.
The change means that, for example, a spreadsheet shared with a Google Group will be accessible immediately to anyone joining that group, or rendered inaccessible to those leaving the group.
"In my work, being able to communicate and collaborate with many groups of people is crucial to productivity, and I often want to use Google Apps to share content with particular groups or teams," Google Groups associate product manager Jeffrey Chang wrote in a blog post Monday. "Typing in every user's e-mail address manually is painstaking and inefficient, and remembering when people leave and join different teams is impossible."
Across Google's various applications, including Docs, Sites, Video for Business, and Calendar, groups can be given access by having an invitation sent to the group's e-mail address, rather than to an individual's e-mail address, Chang said.
Calendars, sites, and other items will then "automatically detect group membership changes," Chang added.
David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.